Changes to Full Tilt hurt traffic numbers

Full Tilt PokerIt was just a few days ago that Full Tilt Poker announced they would be making changes to their software in the hopes of creating a healthier gaming environment. Since taking a complete overhaul of the poker lobby, the site has now experienced a 20% decrease in cash gaming traffic, certainly not what the online poker provider was anticipating.

Based on numbers provided by PokerScout, the seven day average for Full Tilt shows 1,000 players in the past but has now lessened to around 800 gamers. Less players are also being seen on the PokerStars Spanish and French sites, based on the changes at PokerStars.

Once Full Tilt had announced the changes, many grinders at the site began to voice their opinion and it is not surprising the traffic numbers are down. Many said they would be moving on to another online poker site due to the changes made. With these statements by players, officials expected to see some decrease in player numbers but certainly not 20%, which is quite high.

Dominic Mansour, the Managing Director of Full Tilt, has been trying to get the site to cater more towards recreational players for a long time now and seems to have received his wish. Mansour claims that the poker economy is broken because the ratio of casual to professional players is not balanced.

With the old system, Full Tilt gave stronger players the ability to prey on the weaker poker members, which caused the weaker players to go broke. This lead to recreational players not redepositing at the site since they could not win.

With the new system, players are randomly assigned a seat at a poker table. This will prevent stronger players from seeking out the weak. Weaker members of the site will be able to last longer in the game and this will essentially increase the probability that such players will continue to make deposits and remain members of the site.

Of course, these changes would be good for Full Tilt as they would be able to retain players and retain healthy traffic numbers. Softer games would provide more opportunity for weaker players to learn the game and feel comfortable, even despite losing.

It has also been suggested, by Mansour, that additional changes will be made at the site, with the ring games and rake structure. The loyalty scheme may also be in the mix of changes to come. For micro-stakes players, at blinds of $0.05/$0.10, the rake contribution is expected to increase with a larger rake cap to be added to the $10/$20 and $5/$10 games. Mansour stated that the site is reinventing the rewards program to be attractive to all players and not just those who play all the time. The exact changes have yet to be released.

Recreational game play options can be beneficial to online poker rooms in the long run. It could be that the numbers are low due to the initial changes at Full Tilt but will soon come back up after players get used to the new method of game play. Additional sites that have transferred to the recreational player method include Bodog, which is quite successful.

It may that over time, Full Tilt will be able to build their player base back to the regular numbers and even increase their offerings. We shall see in the coming weeks if the site is successful with their latest ventures as well as if the additional changes in the future will affect the site. Full Tilt is still considered a top brand and should be able to bounce back from this percentage dip in player numbers.